Bandung, unity in diversity

Seventy-eight years ago, in February 1945, at Yalta, Crimea, leaders of the Grand Alliance– Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt– were re-configuring the world. They had defeated Adolf Hitler, were in the process of shredding Germany while installing an international court to put war criminals on trial. Churchill was talking Stalin into entering … Read more

Professor Lapuz, a voice extinguished

Jose David Lapuz, Knight Grand Cross of Rizal, was the last of that inexorable breed of orators. He had the voice for it; he was a baritone and had he chosen the opera instead of the academe he could have excelled in villainous roles like the Conti di Luna in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”. Professor Lapuz … Read more

The Calairos, Mother & Son

The mother, Rosalina Morales Franco Calairo, has an undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Education, from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Like other independent-minded Filipinas, she went on to pursue a Master’s in Sociology, then a Ph.D. in Philippine Studies even if she was busy working as a researcher at the Philippine Rural … Read more

Jaime de Guzman, farewell

Jaime and I met shortly after I had seen him on television in 1968; it was a mid-morning show where guests answered imponderable questions. Jaime, introduced as a promising painter, was asked who among Filipinas he would like to date. He pronounced my full name without hesitation. I did not take umbrage, but was relieved … Read more

Dover Beach, the poem

Ah, love, let us be true To one another! For the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept … Read more

A Moon Treaty

Recently, the phrase “Unidentified Flying Objects” a.k.a. UFOs has acquired a different meaning, it no longer refers to enormous flying saucers of unknown origins, manned by extraterrestrials who plan to invade the planet Earth or to capture homo sapiens specimens for scientific studies. Those white balloons flying over the USA have been identified as China’s … Read more

Bring the architect back to City Hall!

Those acquainted with infrastructure say that there are two types, the horizontal consisting of roads, bridges, waterworks, sewerage systems, flood control, land traffic and the vertical which are structures above ground like houses, schools, hospitals, markets, public housing, capitol buildings and public facilities. Engineers construct the horizontal while architects take care of the vertical. Evidently, … Read more

Jullebee Ranara, brutal slay victim

The unfortunate Jullebee Ranara, a Filipina domestic helper or kasambahay, could not afford to raise her four children so at age 35, she went abroad to seek greener pastures. (Where is the father of her children?) Jullebee ended up in Kuwait, perhaps she was inveigled by an illegal recruiter or a human trafficker; she ended … Read more

Miss Nuevas Filipinas is Miss Universe 2023

Does Miss Universe, R’ Bonney Gabriel,  know that Texas was once Nuevas Filipinas? Don’t you think it is serendipitous that a half-Filipino Miss Texas should win the Miss USA and Miss Universe titles? It was the eminent Bicolano historian, Dr.  Domingo Abella, who first told me that Texas used to be called Nuevas Filipinas. He … Read more

Scarlett O’Hara’s Confederates

“Gone with the wind”, a movie based on a novel by Margaret Mitchell was produced in 1939, before I was born. The protagonist, Scarlett O’hara, was the headstrong daughter of a wealthy plantation owner and slave holder who survived the American Civil War. Some critics say the movie shines a much too favorable light on … Read more